Turning Archive 2006

Chainsaw self destruction = Opportunity

Dominic Greco in Richboro PA
>Hello Everyone,

Several days ago my friend and fellow woodturner Andy DiPietro stopped by to take some of that BIG maple tree I had in my back yard. He had a 24" Husqvarna chainsaw that made short work of the logs.

While I was trying to cut up some of the "smaller" (read that as 18" diameter and smaller) pieces, my POS 18" Homelite chainsaw started to make some funny grinding noises. After some inspection, I found that the flywheel was in the process of self destructing. Some people would be depressed. However, I see this as an opportunity to purchase a more powerful, and more reliable chainsaw. While the 18" Homelite I purchased 6 years ago has served adequately (and that's being generous), IMHO I've come to realize the false economy of purchasing "homeowner brands" from the big box stores.

After searching through the archives and reading all the reccomendations, I've narrowed it down to either a Stihl, or a Husqvarna. I need a saw that is dependable, reliable, and built to take abuse. I use my chainsaw for cutting firewood, tending the trees in my yard, as well as harvesting turning stock. As far as bar size goes, 18" is minimum, while 24" is the max I see myself needing (at this moment). As far as price goes, we're talking in the $400 to $500 range here. I can't go any higher without risking severe reprisals from the "Accounting Department" (ie: my wife).

Now that I've stated my criteria, I'd really appreciate some reccomendations, as well as an answer to some questions about several models.

I checked out some of the Husqvarna chain saws on Amazon and read some reviews. I was apalled to read a review where several owners panned the 445 Rancher. Forgive me for sounding cheap, but I expect a $370 chainsaw to perform better than this! If you read all the reviews, one person suggests purchasing the Husqvarna 359. However, Amazon was out of stock so I was unable to get a price on this. Speedway sales has it for $485. So,....$115 difference and I get a much better saw? Tell me I'm wrong, but this sounds like a no brainer to me.

Q:Is the 359 that much better of a chainsaw?

And as far as Stihl chainsaws go, I was unable to get prices on them via the Internet. A fact finding mission to a local Stihl dealer (in Tax Free Delaware) is in order.

Q: Does anyone have a recomendation for a comparablly priced Stihl Chainsaw that will meet the criteria I mentioned above?

See ya around,

My ugly mug


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